On the lines of the Amma canteens in Tamil Nadu, the Delhi government on Thursday announced its plans to launch ‘aam aadmi' canteens to provide subsidised hygienic food to the working classes.
The canteens will take care of the breakfast, lunch and dinner needs of the underprivileged people and will be sold for less than Rs 10. More than 20 lakh people are expected to benefit from the initiative.
Senior leaders said the project was initially proposed by the Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC). Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal recently gave his nod for the canteens.
“Various departments have been asked to ascertain the financial implications and other necessities for the project. The first canteen is likely to roll out within the next two months,” said DDC vice-chairman Ashish Khetan.
Asked if the project was different from the Jan Aahar initiative of the Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government, Khetan said the priority of the 'aam aadmi' canteens would be to provide hygienic food to the underprivileged people at a cost less than the earlier scheme.
“These canteens will be set up near hospitals, education institutions, commercial hubs and industrial areas. These eateries will be capable to serve anywhere between 3,000-5,000 people each daily,” said Khetan.
Though Khetan refused to state how many canteens were likely to come up or the financial burden on the Delhi government, he said the project would be on the lines of the Amma canteens of Tamil Nadu.
“The Tamil Nadu government has been running 225 canteens with an expense of Rs 65 crore annually. Similar projects by other states are being studied,” said Khetan.
Khetan said there are 15 lakh labourers working in the city. “Rickshaw-pullers, daily-wage labourers, construction workers and others employed in the high-labour intensive work have no choice but to consume unhygienic or insufficiently nutritious food that is prepared and served in unsanitary,” said Khetan.
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